The New Jersey governor ran for office as a fairly typical Garden State Republican. But since his victory, he has picked fights with public-sector unions, the state Supreme Court, and the press — and in the process he’s heartened long-suffering conservatives in New Jersey and elsewhere. Check out Michael Brendan Dougherty’s profile of the New Jersey (budget) slasher.

Also in TAC today, Ann Jones notes the futility of Obama replacing a failed commander (McChrystal) while he remains in thrall to a failed doctrine (counterinsurgency). Nation-building, consciousness-raising, and democracy-exporting continue apace in Afghanistan — and so does the killing and alienating of the people Washington presumes to save.

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